States­boro Blues

Guitar Techniques - - NEWS -

Steve Allsworth dis­sects a bril­liant track from this leg­endary band with in­spir­ing slide from Duane and cool reg­u­lar solo from Dickey Betts.

STATES­BORO BLUES WAS orig­i­nally by blind wil­lie Mctell and was ef­fec­tively the start­ing point for Duane all­man’s un­be­liev­able bot­tle­neck skills. In 1968, his brother Gregg went to visit him on his 22nd birth­day, while he was re­cov­er­ing from a horse rid­ing ac­ci­dent. Gregg brought along a bot­tle of Co­ri­cidin pills for his in­jury and the de­but al­bum by gui­tarist taj Ma­hal as a gift. In the in­ter­ven­ing hours, Duane had poured the pills out of the bot­tle, washed off the la­bel and was us­ing it as a slide to play States­boro blues (cov­ered by taj Ma­hal). Gregg elab­o­rates: “Duane had never played slide be­fore, he just picked it up and started burnin’. He was a nat­u­ral.” this song be­came a sta­ple in one of the broth­ers’ orig­i­nal bands Hour Glass, and it was their two al­bum re­leases that be­came the launch pad for Duane’s ses­sion ca­reer. It was an Hour Glass ses­sion at FAME stu­dios in Mus­cle Shoals that caught the eye of stu­dio owner rick Hall, who then hired the young Duane to work with wil­son Pick­ett. It was his work on Hey Jude in par­tic­u­lar that got him hired as a full-time ses­sion mu­si­cian, work­ing with such no­table tal­ents as King Curtis, aretha Franklin and Her­bie Mann. He also caught the eye of eric Clap­ton, who later hired Duane to work with Derek and the Domi­nos. 1969-1970 saw slow process of form­ing what would be­come the all­man broth­ers band. Duane’s unique vi­sion for a two lead gui­tarist, two drum­mer band led to a sex­tet com­prised of Jaimoe Jo­han­son and butch trucks (un­cle of Derek) on drums, bassist berry oak­ley, gui­tarist Dickey betts and Gregg on keys. Their first two al­bums, the all­man broth­ers band (1969) and Idlewild South (1970) were both re­leased amid in­tense tour­ing, for which the band be­came in­fa­mous. Soon af­ter a show date in Mi­ami with the all­man broth­ers band and Derek and the Domi­nos, all­man and Clap­ton formed a deep rap­port dur­ing an all-night jam ses­sion. their mu­tual love of each other’s play­ing saw all­man par­tic­i­pate on most of layla and other as­sorted love Songs (1970), con­tribut­ing some of his best-known work. all­man never left the all­man broth­ers band, how­ever, de­spite be­ing of­fered a per­ma­nent po­si­tion with Clap­ton.

It was not un­til the all­mans’ live al­bum at Fill­more east (1971) when the band had its artis­tic and com­mer­cial break­through. Hailed as one of the finest live al­bums ever recorded, it con­tains our fea­tured track as well as sem­i­nal jam tracks such as whip­ping Post and In Mem­ory of el­iz­a­beth reed.

the tragic death of Duane in a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent that au­tumn was one of blues’s most un­timely and un­ex­pected losses. the band played at his fu­neral with Dickey betts (no slouch on slide him­self) play­ing Duane’s famed les Paul.

We re­alised that the au­di­ence was a big part of what we did, which couldn’t be du­pli­cated in a stu­dio. A light bulb fi­nally went on: we needed to make a live al­bum. Gregg All­man

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